With summer nearing its end and the temperatures finally going down (hallelujah!), I’ve been busy lately working on the church calendar for the next six months. Even though I’ve been out of school for a few years and most of you have been out of school for longer, but I think that the cycle of the school year is ingrained in our inner clocks. New things begin in the fall, even if we don’t need to buy new crayons and binders and pens to prepare for them!
Since many families with kids have irregular schedules in the summer (the same often goes for adults who work in education!), church programming years often start in the fall so that everybody is together again. Last year, I arrived at this church right at the start of the programming year, when you voted me in as your pastor on the same Sunday that we blessed the backpacks for fall semester.
What sorts of programming would appeal to you as we plan ahead for the rest of year? Would you be interested in adult education classes? Are there topics you’d like to learn more about from a guest speaker? Are there any questions about Christianity you’ve always wanted to ask? Do you have any ideas for ways we could engage with our larger community? Can you think of any outreach projects we should look into taking on? Have you ever wanted to sing in a church choir or ring bells? Would you be interested in being a lay reader? Are you eager for the opportunity to share a new favorite dish at a potluck? Have you ever wanted to learn more about planning your own funeral? Would be interested in joining Bible study or another kind of small group? What do you love about this church that we could do more of? I’d love to hear from you!
Over the next six months, I’m looking forward to preaching another month of Genesis and then spending all of September with Moses before returning to Jesus stories and the lectionary as fall turns to Advent. I’ve been having a lot of fun with our close reading of Revelation, which we’ll be continuing until we read a new book together in October, “What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?” by Martin Thielen. I hope that our new First Fridays movie and potluck nights will be a source of joy and fellowship for our church family and I will be excited to see how it evolves and what kinds of dishes and films we’ll get to experience and discuss together. Obviously, I’m already looking ahead to Halloween and planning a costume for Gingersnap and a costume for myself that will tie in to a special sermon for the last Sunday of October–it just may be one that you won’t want to miss! And of course, I know I’ll be getting busy soon writing new settings for this year’s Christmas Carol communion, but that still feels far away as I sit here writing while Gingersnap plaintively watches a summer thunderstorm through the window (I think she is disappointed that there are no birds to watch in the rain).
But most of all, as I start to pencil things into increasingly dog-eared planner, I’m looking forward to continuing my walk with Christ alongside Peoples Presbyterian Church.
shalom and agape,
Rev Leia Rose Battaglia